24.1.12

Learning to Drive



"It is hard to imagine the difficulty of learning to start, 
drive and maintain an automobile. 
Not only was the whole process complicated, 
but one had to start from scratch. 
Today's children breathe in the theory,
habits and idiosyncrasies of the internal combustion engine in their cradles, 
but then you started with the blank belief that it would not run at all, 
and sometimes you were right. 
Also, to start the engine of a modern car you do just two things,
turn a key and touch the starter. 
Everything else is automatic. 
The process used to be more complicated. 
It required not only a good memory, 
a strong arm, 
an angelic temper, 
and a blind hope, 
but also a certain amount of practice of magic, 
so that a man about to turn the crank of a Model T might be seen 
to spit on the ground and whisper a spell."

East of Eden
John Steinbeck

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